Survey – Nearly 80% of UAE customers research products but buy elsewhere


Nearly 80% of UAE customers research products but buy elsewhere

  • CNNB Solutions commissioned YouGov survey of 1,000 UAE shoppers
  • Eight out of 10 shoppers research products in one place (store, online marketplace, brand website), but buy through another retail channel
  • Same-day delivery, free delivery, and easy returns top requirements to convert online shoppers

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: CNNB Solutions, MENA’s leading eCommerce and direct-to-consumer specialist, has revealed the results of its UAE omnichannel shopping survey. The poll found eight out of 10 shoppers (78%) in the UAE have researched a product either online or offline, but then chosen to buy through another retail channel.

The commissioned survey with YouGov also uncovered UAE online shopping preferences, with same-day delivery, free delivery and ease of returns and refunds the three most important ecommerce shopping considerations.

CNNB Solutions co-founder and CVO, Nicolas Bruylants said, “UAE shoppers have high expectations and want rapid, free delivery of products that are easily returnable. They research products in one location – whether that’s via an online marketplace, on a brand website or in a store – but often make the purchase through a different retail channel. This represents a huge opportunity for both online and offline retailers to enhance the customer experience, differentiate themselves from competition, and close the sale from the first moments of interest.”

The CNNB Solutions poll was conducted by leading independent research agency, YouGov, who questioned a representative sample of 1,000 people across the UAE. Further results included that Emiratis are the most likely nationality group to research and buy through different channels, topping seven of the eight surveyed categories. Meanwhile, parents are the most likely to purchase from the first retail channel they find a product. Across all eight surveyed product categories the most popular answer was that people had researched products online but then bought in-store, demonstrating a disconnect in the effectiveness of the ecommerce buying journey which brands must solve.

 There was an estimated $5bn of online retail sales in the UAE in 2021, but 30% of items were returned and refunded. CNNB Solutions estimates ecommerce businesses are processing over $1.5bn in returns every year. Through managed ecommerce solutions, such as tailored websites and managed online marketplaces, average return rate can be less than 1%.

Bruylants added, “Returns are an important problem for brands, as the cost of returns, refunds and waste need to be reduced to the minimum. The process can be well managed by having more control over the customer journey through a strongly curated brand website, accurate product descriptions, and immersive user experiences. Through an effective fulfillment center, technology and procedures, returns can become another valuable touchpoint in the buyer’s journey.”

About CNNB Solutions:

CNNB Solutions is designed to help brands sell more online by delivering seamless and unified direct to consumer operations. The business was established by ex-citrussTV owner and founder Nicolas Bruylants and ex-citrussTV COO Charbel Nasr. It has operations across the entire GCC, with managed brand centres in UAE, KSA and Egypt. With over 15 years of experience in providing effective solutions to help brands build, operate and scale, the expert team manage and maximise online processes for brands, including: distribution, stock planning and inventory management; web development and management; order management; global fulfilment and support; payment solutions; and customer experience support. CNNB works with multiple household name global and regional brands and facilitates millions of dollars of online sales every year.